Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Art of Being a Fan

Sometimes--very, very, very rarely--I have obsessive tendencies that when combined with Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. could be considered stalker-ish.  Please know that to truly consider me a stalker would be a major misconception.  It's all quite innocent...really...I promise.  (Fingers maybe crossed.)

Anyways, one person on whom my stalking curiosity has been focused is Ree Drummond--The Pioneer Woman.  You may remember me talking about her back in March of last year.  Since that time, she has released a children's book...

...and a second cookbook.

She is currently doing a book tour for "Food From My Frontier."  I've been counting down the days until she hits OKC.  It happened this last weekend. 

She was scheduled to be at Full Circle Book Store.  First, let's talk about a little bit about Full Circle Book Store.  It's absolutely amazing.  It has floor-to-ceiling bookshelves...really tall bookshelves.  The bookshelves are so tall that the bookstore has ladders on tracks so you can reach the books on the highest shelves.  It is very much like a scene from one of my favorite Disney classics...Beauty and the Beast.

One cannot very well be in a place that is prime real estate for a Belle reenactment and not take advantage of the opportunity.  So we did.  ("We" being my stalker curious friend and fellow Disney-lover, Rachel and me.)

(Note to self:  Add Beauty and the Beast to my movie queue.)

Back to Ree...

The "event" did not start until 1:00.  However, Rachel and I knew that her events have a tendency to draw big crowds, so we arrived a little before 10:00am when the doors opened.  We were almost the first people there.  Almost.  We just missed having front row seats to the shindig, but we were gracious and didn't cause a riot to get those prized seats.  Later, we were glad we restrained ourselves.  The people who took the front row had driven all the way from Conway, Arkansas to see Ree.  They deserved the front row.  I guess.  (There were also people there from Childress, TX and other places miles and hours away.  It made our drive to Norman last year seem like nothing.)

The signing started with a short, hilarious presentation by Ree, so we began our morning in the mall outside of the book store.  Hundreds of chairs were set up in front of the stage.  After sitting there for around an hour, we heard rumors of these things called line tickets.  Panic set in very quickly.  I had agreed to watch a sweet lady's things behind us so she could visit the ladies' room, so Rachel took off for the store to see what these tickets were all about.  She came back with two bright orange strips of paper with 8 printed on them.  "What does 8 mean?" you ask.  Well, 8 meant we were in group 8.  Guests were split into groups of 50.  That's right, even though we were the "second" people there (There were 10 people in the group in front of us.  So really we were people 11 & 12.), we would have to wait for 350 other people to see Ree first.

Hmmmmm...what do two girls do when they are waiting for 350 people to get their books signed?  Well, let me tell you.

First, we just sat around debating what to do.  Then, we explored 50 Penn Place.  There isn't much to explore...especially on a Saturday.

Then, we decided we were thirsty.  The cafe inside Full Circle had the LONGEST LINE you had to walk through the hundreds of people in the signing line.  Our next best solution???  Penn Square Mall is right across the street.  Penn Square Mall has a food court.  So, we went outside to go to Penn Square Mall.   As most of you know, parking at Penn Square Mall is ridiculous.  So, we decided to walk...across this six lane street.  Yes, that's right.  We risked our lives for a milkshake from Chick-fil-A.  It was sooooo worth it.

We also risked our lives getting back to Full Circle.  I think it may have been more dangerous.  We were trying to preserve our shakes and our lives.

On our return trip, we discovered the most wonderful thing.  It was Ree's car.  Parked right by the entrance with a little orange cone that said "Ree Drummond Reserved."

 This got two obsessive stalkers fans pretty excited.  PHOTO OP!!!!

We noticed someone had written notes on the back of her car.  Please note:  we are NOT vandals.  The following was already written on the vehicle!!!   (OK, so maybe I wrote the "I" the rest of it was already there.  I also look a little deranged...but I swear I'm not.)

We went back inside and found these chairs that had a perfect vantage point to people watch.  We had a good time watching people meet Ree.  She is so kind to everyone.  Even after hours of signing books and smiling for pictures, she still took the time to have a little conversation with every person who came to her table. Took this one during that time...They had just started group 5. 

Group 8 finally started to line up around 5:30.  We had been at 50 Penn Place since 10:00am.  So were clocking 7.5 hours at this point.  We got in line behind the nicest two ladies who we chatted with for the next little bit.  One of the ladies had recently been on Martha Stewart!  WHOA!!!  Two famous ladies in one day!! We started measuring our progress by our distance from the front door of the store. We were getting pretty close here...this was I think about 6:00. 

The people in line around us also decided at this point that Rachel and I must be pros at Ree's book signings.  At Ree's signings, she passes out sticky notes so you can write a name on it for her to personalize the book.  We had predicted this event before they ever handed out the stickies.  We also knew where she would sign and that they were going to request that we "flap" the books so that they would open directly to the correct page.  "Flapping" is moving the dust sleeve inner "flap" to mark the page where the book should be opened to.  We learned all this from the one other signing we had been to last year.  We didn't mind impressing everyone around us with out expertise, though.  Plus, we knew if the people in front of us were prepared it would be that much quicker that we got our turn with Ree. 

As we neared the front of the line and could see her pretty red head, one of the nice ladies in front of us said, "I bet she takes a restroom break right when we get to the front of the line."  She was right.  Right when it was their turn, Ree sweetly asked if we would allow her to take a quick trip to the ladies room.

This was one of the nice ladies in front of us.  Ree really liked her hair.  She said she is scouting a new hair-do.  However, she needs one that can be thrown into a pony tail.

Then it was our turn.  She really is one of the nicest people ever.  I would be really cranky after 4.5 hours of signing books.  She still smiled her pretty smile and signed her pretty signature.  She also did me a little favor!  Yay me!

A couple of weeks ago, she informed us all through Facebook that their was a typo in the book and would we please cross out the mistake and draw a little heart from her.  After she signed my book...

I asked her if she would mind fixing the recipe herself, and she did!!

So, I now have my very own HAND-EDITED copy of Ree Drummond's new cookbook.

I feel very privileged.  My book is probably a one-of-a-kind. 

That's all for now.  Thanks for reading!

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